In the Solar PEIS, the BLM committed to preparing solar regional mitigation strategies (SRMSs) for the solar energy zones (SEZs). These regional mitigation strategies were intended to simplify and improve the mitigation process for future solar projects in SEZs.
In March 2014, the BLM released the Regional Mitigation Strategy for the Dry Lake Solar Energy Zone (BLM Technical Note 444) (PDF, 3.9 MB), a pilot effort by the BLM that identifies mitigation priorities and options in advance of development. The SRMS takes into account the resource conditions of the land and regional trends informed by BLM's recent Rapid Ecoregional Assessments, and was the first of several such mitigation strategies to be developed for SEZs by the BLM. In December 2015, the Implementation Plan for the Dry Lake Solar Energy Zone Regional Mitigation Strategy (PDF, 569 KB) was released. This document details the selection of the Piute-Eldorado Valley ACEC as the mitigation location to compensate for resources that will be lost as a result of solar development in the Dry Lake SEZ. Both the SRMS and the Implementation Plan were developed in collaboration with stakeholders.
Based on IM-2019-018, the BLM no longer may require compensatory mitigation as a condition for project approvals. However, the SEZ characterization data and discussion of potential impacts of development in the SRMS documents may still prove useful for consideration during project permitting activities. Additionally, the BLM conducted outreach to support the SRMS projects with a broad representation of stakeholders, including industry, state and local governments, tribes, and local communities, and this stakeholder input to the SRMS documents also remains valuable.
For further information, please contact Greg Helseth, BLM Nevada, at [email protected].